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Hey Mates,
I have a Neptune 24' sloop with a centerboard. I am shopping around for a new outboard motor. I have always used an old Johnson 6hp which when becalmed I have to rev up all the way to make good headway, although she pushes along fine at lower throttle as well. It works fine but I was wondering if it makes sense to step up to an 8hp so as to only have to run her perhaps at 2/3 throttle or so. I thought this might make the motoring experience quieter and/or put less stress on the motor and thus extend its life. Any recommendations on that idea? Cheers, Tim
 

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As for the noise, I've definitely noticed that folks around here whose outboards are newer than my 1990 2-stroke, are also significantly quieter, and when motoring to and fro at low throttle, produce a sound that could almost be described as "purring".

I don't know about stress on the motor but your guess sounds plausible. Clearly there's such a thing as too much, but it may be that the throttle cannot be opened wide enough to get to that level. However, I understand that running the motor at lower throttle is more fuel efficient. Also, does your motor have an unregulated charging circuit? If so, running the motor at full throttle for long periods of time can be hazardous to your batteries.
 
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